Open House: What steps should be taken by the administration and police to curb road rage incidents? : The Tribune India

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Open House: What steps should be taken by the administration and police to curb road rage incidents?

Cancel licence, impound vehicles of repeat offenders

Open House: What steps should be taken by the administration and police to curb road rage incidents?

The government should increase the network of CCTV cameras and depute more police officials to manage traffic. Illustration: Sandeep Joshi



Police, public should cooperate

Of late, incidents of road rage have become quite common. Sometimes, it goes beyond verbal altercations and end up in physical fights, causing injuries and damage to the vehicles. Of course, the intolerant attitude of some drivers is the cause behind such incidents, but sometimes even the responsible and law abiding citizens are forced to become part of these brawls because of the wrong actions of other persons. The administration needs to deploy traffic police personnel and install CCTV cameras on all crossings and ensure that the cameras are functioning properly to keep a vigil and also instil a feeling of fear in the minds of offenders. Penalty for violations should be fixed and imposed without any laxity. Additionally, residents must come forward to do their bit and follow traffic rules. They should report any suspicious activities or violations. If one party is getting impatient, the other must try to show responsible conduct by staying calm and settling the matter peacefully. This collaboration of residents with the administration is the need of the hour to tackle this menace to decrease road rage cases.

Priyanka


Centralised automated traffic required

Centralised and automated traffic surveillance system, encompassing a constant review of vehicles' speed and red-light cameras, should be put in place to help, monitor and penalise offenders. To instil the fear of law to curb road rage and rash driving, there is a need for implementing strict legal provisions and modifying the Motor Vehicles Act and Section 304-A of the IPC. Causing death due to rash and negligent driving should be made a non-bailable offence. Regular, unbiased and effective enforcement of traffic rules, along with hefty penalties for offenders, especially during peak hours, would encourage safe driving and compliance with traffic rules. Cancelling the driving licence of the convicted will act as a deterrent. Automobile-manufacturing companies should be directed to make vehicles with certain speed limits and the firms should also be held liable in case of mishaps caused due to speeding. There should be rigorous testing for obtaining a driving licence and driver training programmes should be strengthened. Parents too should motivate their children to follow traffic rules. Strict action should be initiated against the guardians of the children, who are found driving recklessly. Improvement in road infrastructure, installation of warning signs and lighting at night is a prerequisite for safer driving conditions.

Kulwant Singh Phull


Remove encroachments, impose hefty fine

Incidents of road rage have been growing at an exponential rate. First of all, we should consider the factor of rising intolerance. Congested roads make drivers frustrated as they get late for their destination. To combat these cases of intolerance, the administration should remove encroachments from roads to prevent congestion. The police should impose heavy penalties for rash driving and the government should amend the Motor Vehicles Act to create a fear of law in the minds of drivers. They should install CCTV cameras on every road to help the police in catching the erring drivers in time.

Bharti Thakur


Clamp down on rowdy drivers

To end the chaos on roads, the rowdy behaviour of drivers needs to be controlled by making it extremely difficult for them to avoid observing rules. The licence of such drivers should be immediately taken away by the police and suspended for a period of at least six months, whenever someone is found guilty of offences like driving in the wrong lane, over- speeding, overloading, using hooters as blaring horns, parking at unauthorised places and disobeying traffic signals. However, exceptions could be made in the case of ambulances, fire brigade and government vehicles on duty. After taking the driving licence into custody, the accused can be issued a temporary driving slip for the day to complete the journey.

SS Chahal


Rise in number of vehicles a factor

When motorised vehicles were slow and scarce, they had manually blown rubber horns on the outside. When their speed and numbers on the road increased, automatic and multiple horns arrived and incidents of such deviant road behaviour increased. Old and experienced motorists always follow the rules and avoid over-speeding or driving against a deadline. However, frequent incidents involving the use of foul language over minor issues have become common these days. Usually, the louder party is a young delinquent driver, not infrequently under the influence of alcohol, flaunting his wealth or connections, if not his muscle power. In fact, such erratic drivers might have some psychological problem reflected in their intolerant and volatile nature. But this is not to deny that the presence of a variety of slow vehicles on city roads is likely to cause some skin damage to expensive cars and invite filthy outbursts. However, such bruises cannot be repaired with abusive language. Where it is a shouting match between two parties, the law should intervene and restore peace and movement as soon as possible. Besides, the public should not just gaze and enjoy the sight but try to pacify the parties. If you are the victim or the offending party, folded hands and smiling lips may prevent an ugly sight.

Mohan Singh


Awareness drives can be of help

To check road rage, the foremost step required is to deploy honest traffic policemen in all areas who can identify and punish rash drivers on roads. Giving immediate punishment to those guilty of road rage can reduce such cases in future. In order to put a stop to such incidents, the misuse of arms needs to be curbed. Last but not the least, all the above measures can only be effective in reality if mass awareness is created for the prevention of road rage cases.

Sanjay Chawla


Poor road sense behind rage

Violation of traffic rules, at least by one party, is usually the reason prompting a road rage incident. People are not aware of the basic traffic norms, and thus take wrong turns, jump traffic lights, take over from the wrong side, stop in the middle of the road, or talk on phone while driving, causing inconvenience to fellow drivers. Among other factors, there aren't enough traffic policemen available to keep a vigil on violators. People who lack awareness and do not read traffic signals get the driving licence. There should be a written test that applicants must pass before appearing for the driving test. Lastly, heavy penalty should be imposed for driving without a licence.

GS Bhullar


Review claim redress mechanism

All roads must be distinctly demarcated and lined up for different category of vehicles to follow the prescribed lane and speed limit. Strenuous efforts should be made to keep transport infrastructure and roads in perfect order, flagging invariably clear warning signals to adhere to the instructions. Furthermore, since drivers often make mistakes while negotiating potholes or broken stretch of road, there must be proper indications to follow diversion route apart from constant vigil through satellite control so that nobody dares to disobey the rules. In-so-far, the incidents of road rages are recurring due to compensation claims. So, a level of relief can be achieved by quick settlement of insurance claim disputes on minor vehicle damages. Obviously, the prevailing claim redress mechanism under the Motor Vehicles Act ought to be reviewed forthwith. As a deterrent to reckless driving, licence of the negligent driver must be suspended with heavy fines to instil a rational traffic sense. However, the traffic police will have to be better sensitised for the purpose. In right earnest, Punjab has recently done a yeoman service by creating Sadak Surakhya Force (SSF), which shall be proactively patrolling the assigned areas for safety and quick road assistance. Exquisitely, in this era of technology and speed, it is not difficult to put a stop to the scourge of road rage and save lives from fatal incidents, provided the traffic rules and road discipline is maintained with due sense of responsibility.

Nirmaljit Singh Chatrath


Case of human incompetence, ego

Road rage is one of the many examples of human incompetence to control emotions and hurt others for one's own loss/mistake. Many individuals take it on their egos, resulting in a blind rampage of destruction in their minds and rage. Such behaviour in public is intolerable and unethical for the sovereignty of the state. The government needs to instil fear in such people and remind them that they aren't bigger than the law. To do this, the government should consider increasing the presence of police officers and CCTV cameras in specific areas to proactively prevent major conflicts and promptly restore peace and security. This could involve strategically placing officers and cameras in areas with higher rates of crime or tension. Additionally, implementing stringent laws against road rage, such as revoking access to essential governmental services like healthcare and banking, would serve as a strong deterrent and effectively reduce road rage incidents by up to 90 per cent in Punjab. Last but not the least, the most common and peaceful way is to increase awareness about hazards of road rage like life endangerment, property damage, etc. If an individual is found guilty of a driving offence, their licence should be marked with a warning note. If this occurs more than three times, their licence should be confiscated.

Lakshit Jindal


Set up online reporting platforms

To combat incidents of rising road rage among the youth, a multifaceted strategy is essential. The administration and police should enhance patrolling and install surveillance cameras to enforce strict penalties for aggressive driving, including fines, licence suspension and anger management courses, besides adopting a zero-tolerance policy. Public awareness campaigns are crucial to educate masses about the dangers of road rage. Integrating road safety and anger management into school and college curriculums can foster responsible driving habits early. Mandatory driver education courses, including modules on road rage and defensive driving, should be required for new drivers, with refresher courses for existing drivers. Support systems like helpline and online reporting platforms should be established to assist victims and ensure prompt action against offenders. Community engagement through local initiatives and youth programmes can promote positive driving behaviour and address the root causes of aggression.

Aarti Rana Chauhan


Urge manufacturers to restrict speed limits

The latest cars manufactured by various automobile companies have a maximum speed of more than 200 kilometre per hour. The new expressways, four-lane and six-lane roads have the capacity for the driver of a vehicle to move at a maximum speed as recommended on the expressways but there are a number of other roads where the maximum speed limit is 100 km per hour. Here, if the driver of the vehicle drives at a speed of 140/180 kmph and any mishap happens at that time, the safety and security of the car passengers is at high risk. Though we are moving towards being a developed country, even then following road safety rules is not yet possible because of the number of drivers of other vehicles. It is we ourselves who have to take care of other vehicles on road to be safe while driving. The cost of the modern new cars ranges from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 2 crore. Because of rash driving and not following the speed limits, sometimes mishaps occur and create a big fuss on the roads. The drivers of the cars start scuffling and sometimes it turns into an exchange of blows. The law should be strictly enforced to curb speeding. Also, the speed limit boards should be highlighted after every two to three miles. The person who indulges in scuffles should be booked under the law and his licence suspended for a period of six months to one year. The costly cars are always fully insured, then what is the need to enter into a scuffle?

Rajat Kumar Mohindru


Settle cases of road rage on the spot

Surge in cases of road rage can be rightly attributed to the absence of fear of law among vehicle owners. Fear can be instilled only through an impeccable process of applying road traffic management followed by strict punishment to the traffic offenders, without bias and corrupt practices. For dealing with road rage cases, a centralised round-the-clock control system should be made available for on- the-spot settlement of simmering conflict. The quick response and the presence of the police will definitely help ease the growing tension between the conflicting parties. The violators should be issued challans on the spot and the aggrieved party should be supported. Medical facilities, if required, should also be provided without delay.

Jagdish Chander


Emulate Chandigarh’s traffic mgmt system

The nuisance of road rampage seems to has a very sorted out, clear-cut solution in the earliest execution of Intelligent Traffic Management System or Integrated Command and Control Centre project. The presence of concrete and inflexible penalties, in case of traffic rule violations, shall instill fear and a sane temper amongst the reckless, hot-headed and intolerant drivers, who otherwise flout all ethical behavioural practices of a law-abiding citizen. Haphazard, arbitrary commuting on roads, incessant and unnecessary honking, blatant ignorance of traffic signals or rules, test one's patience, especially of those, who are themselves impatient. Emulating Chandigarh’s ‘No scope for laxity’ impeccable, smart city traffic management model, facilitated by the tenacity of the police force could be a great first step in curbing road rage incidents. It’s time to tighten the noose around perpetrators, ensuring that they don't lose their cool, and if they do, they do not go away scot-free.

Anshika Kohli


QUESTION FOR NEXT WEEK

The maximum temperature in the city has increased to 44°C. The India Meteorological Department has issued heatwave alert in Punjab for the next few days. What preventive measures should the government take to fight this heatwave and mitigate effects of climate change?

Suggestions in not more than 200 words can be sent to [email protected]  by Thursday (May 23)


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